About Rebekah Junkermeier

Slightly obsessed with Roman history, religion, catacombs, and archaeology, and always looking for fun times.

SPI’s ‘People Not Stones 2013’ Crowdfunding Campaign Has Launched!

The Sustainable Preservation Initiative has launched its first crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo.com, an online platform where people can create fundraising campaigns to tell their story and get the word out about their important mission. We have had great success in empowering entrepreneurs, creating jobs, and preserving cultural heritage. Now we want to do it at more sites and let everyone know about our new paradigm that saves sites and transforms lives.  Crowdfunding offers the opportunity to do both with a brand new audience as of yet unfamiliar with SPI.

Our Mission: To alleviate poverty through economic development in and save the sites of Bandurria, Peru, and Chotuna – Chornancap, Peru.

Our Funding Goal: $49,000



Pyramids older than those of ancient Egypt still stand at the archaeological site of Bandurria, where excavations have also uncovered ancient homes and a cemetery that belonged to a complex society that marks the origins of civilization in the Andes. However, alongside this rich cultural heritage is a community living far below the poverty line, with no running water or electricity.

Chotuna community

Our project aims to alleviate this poverty by empowering local entrepreneurs in the community. It will construct a communal artisan and visitor center where local residents can produce and sell their traditional reed and rush handicrafts and train future artisans, creating more local jobs in the community. The project includes a store for these handicrafts, a snack bar, and clean toilets for tourists. In addition, our project will provide the only source of potable water and electricity available to the community.

Chotuna – Chornancap

Chotuna monumental

The archaeological site of Chotuna – Chornancap is a 235-acre monumental temple and pyramid complex where several remarkable, one-of-a-kind ancient royal tombs have been discovered (See National Geographic article here). Similar to Bandurria, however, the community living near the site is very poor. There are few jobs, little income and no opportunity to escape this cycle of poverty. Our project invests in local textile, metal embossing, and gourd artisans, funding the construction of a facility for artisan training and production and a sales area for their work at the site. It also includes a picnic area and snack bar to generate additional revenue for the community. Our funding will also build a store and showroom at a major museum (Museo Bruning) for these handicrafts in the nearby city of Lambayeque where guidebooks and brochures for the Chotuna site will also be available.

Help us save sites and transform lives! Click here to make a tax-deductible contribution at indiegogo today and spread the word by liking our campaign on Facebook, posting about our crowdfunding campaign on your own Facebook page, retweeting us on Twitter, or pinning our project video on Pinterest!

Thank you for your support!


“Fair Trade Preserving Archaeological Sites”: Mata Traders Honors SPI!

Check out Mata Traders’s recent blog post featuring SPI:  http://www.matatraders.com/blog/2013/01/fair-trade-preserving-archaeological-sites/

Mata Traders is a Fair Trade company that offers vintage-inspired women’s apparel made from handmade fabrics and materials. All their products are made by women’s cooperatives and artisan groups that train, employ, and empower women in poverty.

Thank you Mata Traders!

SPI is named “Charity of the Month” by Mata Traders

Happy New Year!

SPI is honored to be named Mata Traders’s “Charity of the Month” in recognition for our outstanding work empowering impoverished communities and saving cultural heritage sites. Our projects provide a 2-for-1 benefit: They bring sustainable income to poor communities while saving cultural heritage sites for future generations to study and enjoy! (Click here for more information)

For the entire month of January, Mata Traders will donate 10% of all orders made with the code ‘SPI’ to our organization, while you receive 10% off your purchases! The money raised will go toward funding our two new projects at Bandurria and Chotuna-Chornancap, Peru.


We are thrilled to receive this recognition from Mata Traders, a Fair Trade company that offers vintage-inspired women’s apparel made from handmade fabrics and materials. All their products are made by women’s cooperatives and artisan groups that train, employ, and empower women in poverty. Click here for Mata Traders Shopping!

By partnering together, we can provide a sustainable income to poor communities, save cultural heritage sites, and empower women in poverty around the world!


Photo of the Week


Handwoven baskets made from local reeds and rushes by the community living near the archaeological site of Bandurria, Peru, one of SPI’s newest project sites. The sale of these baskets and other products to tourists at the site brings a sustainable income to the local community and incentives them to protect and preserve their cultural heritage.

Photo of the Week

7730499118_9908c42326_o copyAncient remains of Chotuna – Chornancap, Peru, location of a new SPI  project that will begin in the first quarter of 2013. Our “People Not Stones” initiative will empower a new class of entrepreneurs in the impoverished community while simultaneously preserving its precious cultural heritage (pictured above).

Photo of the Week


Happy Holidays from SPI! Santa gourd ornaments designed and handmade by SPI-sponsored artisan Ivan Cruz in Pampas Gramalote, Peru. The sale of these (and all of the artisans’ handcrafted gourds) brings sustainable income to the community and helps preserve the endangered archaeological site at Pampas Gramalote.